Three GECOM employees to pay State $75k in failed attempt to injunct elections COI

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High Court Judge, Justice Damone Younge has dismissed an application to injunct the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the March 2020 election and has ordered those seeking the order to pay costs to the State.

The Judgement was handed down on Tuesday last.

The application was made by Guyana Election Commission employees Denise Babb-Cummings, Sheferen February and Michelle Miller who sought, among other things, a permanent injunction to prevent the CoI from compelling them to give evidence.

Babb-Cummings, February and Miller are charged with conspiracy to defraud the March 2020 Elections and, on December 02, were summoned to give evidence to the CoI established by President Irfaan Ali into the March 2022 Elections.

In a Fixed Date Application, their attorney Eusi Anderson also asked for damages in excess of $50 million each for the breach of the Applicants’ constitutional rights to due process, a fair trial, and the State’s willful exposure of them to self-incriminatory testimony under risk of compulsion and contempt.

In response to the Notice of Application, the Attorney General Chambers submitted that while the High Court is vested with power to grant an injunction under section 23(1) of the High Court Act, Chapter 3:02 of the Laws of Guyana, sections 16 (6) and 16 (8) of the State Liability and Proceedings Act, Chapter 6:05 of the Laws of Guyana, expressly, and specifically prohibits the High Court from granting prohibitory or mandatory injunctions against the respondents in the form of injunctive/coercive orders.

The AG Chambers further submitted that the CoI is a State entity, given that it was established by the President exercising constitutionally granted supreme executive authority, and having activated section 2 of the under the Commissions of Inquiry Act Cap 19:03, Laws of Guyana.

That section provides that “The President [who] may issue a commission appointing one or more commissioners and authorising such commissioner or commissioners to inquire into any matter in which an inquiry would, in the opinion of the President, be for the public welfare.”

Having had the benefit of the Respondent’s written submissions, Mr. Anderson, counsel for Babb-Cummings, February and Miller, sought to abandon the application for an injunction, and instead request a conservatory order, which may be granted against the State in appropriate cases. This application was denied.

In the end, the court denied all of the Orders prayed for, and dismissing the Notice of Application by Babb-Cummings, February and Miller,

Babb-Cummings, February and Miller are to pay costs of $75,000 each to the State by January 17 2023.

1 Comment
  1. Matthew says

    TIME for these ladies to come clean and salvage their family pride. Who asked/told you do what? Where was the orders coming from? Were they harmonized and bonded orders trotted out?

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